Apple cuts price on 13'' Retina MacBook Pro, other laptops

The words "Apple" and "price cut" are seldom found together in the same sentence. They're cohabiting nicely today, though, because Apple has cut the prices of three of its laptops.

As of this morning, the 13" MacBook Pro with Retina display no longer starts at $1,699. The base model is now priced at $1,499, instead, with the same hardware configuration as before: a 13" 2560x1600 IPS screen, a 2.5GHz Core i5 dual-core processor (with 3.1GHz a peak Turbo speed), Intel HD Graphics 4000, 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory, 128GB of solid-state storage, and a seven-hour battery.

Paying up the old $1,699 asking price now gets you a slightly quicker Core i5 CPU (with 2.6GHz base and 3.2GHz Turbo speeds) and a 256GB solid-state drive. That config used to cost $1,999 without the quicker processor.

Oh, and today's price cuts have even extended down to the MacBook Air family. The 13" model with 256GB of solid-state storage is now available for $1,399, down from $1,499 before. The base system hasn't budged from $1,199, though.

These cuts come on the heels of Tim Cook's appearance at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. As SlashGear reports, Cook spoke about price cuts there. "We lowered the price of iPhone 4, we lowered the price of iPhone 4S, [and] in the most recent quarter we didn't have enough stock of iPhone 4 after we lowered the price," said Cook. "It surprised us . . . so we are making the move to make things more affordable." Cook did stress that Apple still isn't willing to compromise quality in order to reach lower price points, however.

The move also comes after a drop in quarterly Mac shipments—and a dwindling of Apple's share price.

Whatever Apple's reasons, I'm glad they made the 13" Retina MacBook Pro cheaper. High-DPI displays really ought to become standard in today's PCs and notebooks, and making the first high-DPI notebooks more affordable is a good first step. I actually passed up the 13" Retina MacBook Pro last year because of its high price. Now that it's a little cheaper, I might have to reconsider.

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